It’s been about eight months since Rep. Ayanna Pressley publicly announced that she has alopecia, an autoimmune skin disease that attacks hair follicles and can result in complete hair loss. As such, it’s the first time the Massachusetts congresswoman — who has proudly embraced her bald look since her January reveal — has marked Alopecia Areata Awareness Month since losing her trademark twists.
And what better way to honor the occasion — running the month of September — and show a little self-love than by sharing “an alopecia selfie flex”? On Wednesday, the 46-year-old Democrat posted a powerful selfie showing off her bare head and defying critics to “stay mad.”
“Who needs hair with these cheekbones?” Pressley, sporting a bright pink lip and statement jewelry, quipped. “Folks want to know which bathroom I use. Obviously, the one where royalty enters.”
Let me drop an alopecia selfie flex. Ya'll stay mad on my timeline. I get it. Who needs hair with these cheekbones? Folks want to know which bathroom I use. Obviously, the one where royalty enters. S/O to my Alopecia Squad, 7million strong. #alopeciaawarenessmonth pic.twitter.com/2jrvAJsRXd— Ayanna Pressley (@AyannaPressley) September 2, 2020
The politician gave a shoutout to her “alopecia squad,” but it was a fellow member of her congressional “squad” who had one of the most memorable reactions. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who recently had her own bold beauty moment thanks to a Vogue video of her talking politics while applying her makeup, had nothing but praise for her colleague’s pink power lipstick and necklace.
“Are you glowing up without me?!” the New Yorker commented. ‘Whew, I’m taking notes.”
Can we talk about this collar jewelry!! The lip color! Are you glowing up without me?! 🤣 whew, I’m taking notes 📝— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 3, 2020
Pressley’s selfie also got love from celebrity supporters like Kathy Griffin and Alyssa Milano. But her post resonated most deeply with those who had their own experience with alopecia, from moms whose children have had the condition to Republican congressional candidate Kimberly Klacik.
Thank you!!! My son has been bald since he was 5 due to this capricious disease. He initially wore durags for the 1st year. One day he just said he wanted to go naked...he took off his durag. He rocks his look with his amazing green eyes and beautifully symmetrically shaped-head!— whirlwind (@nxinva) September 2, 2020
Alopecia strong! My beautiful girl. Although, she has hair now after 8 years of being beautifully bald. What a great role model you are for all of these young women! pic.twitter.com/2WR0lL6qpe— Jennifer Palumbo (@jgmp1971) September 2, 2020
People can be so cruel. I developed alopecia when I was 15, I had to get tough quick. We don’t agree on much, but I know what you are going through. It’s not easy. I applaud you for raising awareness.— Kimberly Klacik (@kimKBaltimore) September 3, 2020
7 million strong#alopeciaawarenessmonth
Pressley has previously disclosed that she went completely bald the night before Congress voted on articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
“As a woman and a woman in politics, and certainly as a black woman, everything is political,” she told MSNBC’s Joy Reid in January. “This is not shocking. I mean, I’ve introduced legislation to guard against the fact that Black girls are pushed out of the classroom for how they wear their hair. I have colleagues who have been pressured by supporters and donors alike not to allow their hair to go gray, colleagues who have been told that they should straighten their hair and not wear it curly. And so hair is political.”
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